Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Fright Night (part deux ) The DT Fangirl Editon SPOILERS!!

Welcome to the 2nd part of my two part Fright Night pre-screening review. On March 24, 2011 I was fortunate enough to attend the 1st pre-screening for DreamWorks remake of Fright Night. If you care to read about that you may do so at this link There you will find a more balanced review of my thoughts on the film. Now you may ask, “Why are there two different reviews?” Well the answer is quite simple; I realize that not everyone is going to want to read about David Tennant in tight leather pants. I have no idea who those people are, but I recognize their existence and wish them no ill. If you are one of those people I’d advise you to find another review/blog because that is definitely what I’m here to talk about.

Now let’s get down to business. The purpose of this review is to give DT fan girls a little of what they really want to know. Not about the plot, special effects or the acting. Lord knows you will get plenty of “normal” reviews when the movie opens. Besides I make no claim as a writer. I’m simply a fan girl myself. No, what fan girls the world ‘round want to know are the answers to such questions as, “How does David Tennant really look in those leather trousers?”, “What else does he wear?”, “What about the rock star hair?” Now this, this is something I can help you with.

Let’s start at the top of the film. There is a short setup scene that introduces the setting and gives you a little terror to wet your horror appetite. Then we get our first David Tennant sighting by way of a quick commercial for Peter Vincent’s act. This is airing on the television screen inside a family’s home. It’s a humorous spot because it’s so over the top and melodramatic. DT is wearing the famed leather trousers with matching leather coat (thud) and making overly dramatic gestures towards camera. It’s a great setup for the character and lasts about a minute at most. We then don’t get any DT for what seems like ages. Of course I’m willing to admit that this may have just been my fan girl impatience, but you can all judge for yourself when the film opens. When you are just about ready to give up hope we get a little teaser of DT via a home computer. This happens when the lead character, Charlie checks out Peter Vincent’s website. This is a short scene and not very crisp as it is being seen via the character. However, this is the scene that spurs Charlie to go visit Peter Vincent which is where we get some real DT screen time.

Disguised as press, Charlie sneaks his way into a rehearsal for Peter Vincent’s show. It’s what you would expect. Hot, vampire women surrounded by creepy-crawly fog, the typical. Suddenly there he is…. Peter Vincent (David Tennant). He says some drivel like,” back beast.” I’m not sure exactly as I was quickly blinded by the hotness before me. David Tennant in trousers so tight they looked like they were painted on with a brush. (Insert inappropriate brush or brush painter comment here) From what I recall from a previous DT interview he was sewn into them. I don’t know if he was just joking when he said that, but all I’m going to say is I didn’t see a zipper. Peter Vincent (PV) then walks forward all forceful and full of command. (Warning: Oxygen may be needed) He was wearing no shirt. Just tight, black leather trousers and a long flowing leather coat complete with dark leather boots. He looked great. In fact if you can think of a better description than Adonis-like please let me know. When he spoke it was with that lovely English voice we’ve come to know and love from Doctor Who. It was very reminiscent of the 10th Doctor, with slight differences of course. The main difference is that PV swears. He drops F-bombs and brags of conquests (raises hand to volunteer), drinks too much and swaggers much like drunken 10, but yet still a different character. I loved every moment of it! Every freaking moment! The hair was long and coifed, very Russell Brand. Think of DT’s famous skit for Comic Relief. You know the one. *clapping* “Oh risotto, risotto, risotto.” His face sported an “oh so evil” looking devil beard and his eyes were lined with jet black eye liner. (Remember that old warning about never fall in love with a bad boy? Well I defy you to resist when the bad boy looks like THIS!!)

Segue to the next scene of PV in his hotel room. It is here we see the true illusion of the character. PV and Charlie are discussing stuff to do with the story and saying words that matter to the overall movie. (Blah, blah, blah pan the camera toward DT!) Meanwhile PV starts to remove his “costume.” (Have defibrillator at the ready) First he takes off his coat and reveals that gorgeous bare chest. He looks like cut marble. Much like I expect sparkly vampires should look. Perfect! You can see a small scar on his abdomen (girls dig scars) and just the right amount of chest hair. Not too much, but just enough to be manly. Without his coat on you can also clearly see that the leather trousers are low, VERY low. It’s a pleasure to watch him coming and going. (Don’t do that, no, no really don’t, don’t go there. Ah well, I tried).

PV than swaggers to the bar, proceeds to make a drink and then removes his... wig! That’s right ladies it’s just a wig, but that’s OK because underneath is DT’s cute brown hair. As we DT fan girls know all too well the man doesn’t have bad hair days. They don’t exist. They just don’t. Before taking a seat he grabs his crotch whilst making some comment about leather not breathing, then sits down all lazily with one leg swung over the arm rest. It is here he proceeds to remove more of the illusion.

The next piece to go is his goatee and mustache. That’s fake too. He removes both, much to the audience and Charlie’s surprise. Then he removes his side burns! I must admit I was a little disappointed to see those go as they do so remind me of the Doctor, but I’m sure that was part of the joke. Now you may have or have not noticed from promo photos that he has an eyebrow piercing. Well that is a fake too! All that is left at this point besides shirtless, leather clad Tennant are neck tattoos. Those of course soon disappear as well, but who cares? He is still ½ naked in leather trousers!! LEATHER!!! (Right, I’m fine. I’m back now, so sorry.)

Our next costume change reveals PV in a black satin robe. To be honest I really don’t know if he was wearing anything underneath because I couldn’t quite tell. It didn’t really look like it, but if he was they must have been black. We still see his chest from time to time and are also treated to lots of leg. It was nice seeing black, satin clad Tennant. (Mmmnn…*shakes head* Must continue, must!)

Alright so let us jump ahead to the next PV/DT big transformation. The next time PV’s look changes is when we see him preparing to flee Vegas. This is probably the most subdued look in the film. He is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. No wig this time, just his regular brown hair looking fabulous. Considering DT loves his tees and there are plenty of photos showcasing that, I can’t really tell you anything you don’t already know or have seen. Just know that it looks even better on a large screen. (Fervently prays for Fright Night in IMAX)

The next to last PV look is what I like to describe as Matrix-esque. He is wearing black jeans, a really cool looking tight black tee shirt and a long Matrixy coat. He has all this cool looking vampire fighting gear and just looks…Thud! My very own husband thought he looked bad ass. And do you know why? Because that is EXACTLY how he looked, BAD ASS! To be more precise I believe my exact words were BAMF aka Bad Ass Mutha Fucka! To reference a classic video game/movie, he was ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum. He was all out of bubble gum. I’m not going to go into how he looked as he was fighting etc. because I’ve given away too much as it is, just know he gets a bit sweaty and a bit dirty. (drool)

The final look for the film was basically a clean all-black jean and tee combo. It’s for a quick scene at the end. Intuition tells me that this part of the movie may change as it was very quick and not necessarily a clean finish for the film. Remember this was just a screening and more editing may happen before it is released. It is my hope any editing that takes place will add more DT. Let’s make this clear. MORE!! Do not even think of removing any DT from this film. You may have to deal with fan girl uprisings en masse if this were to happen. There you have been warned editors! Do not blame me if things go awry. I was thoroughly pleased with the overall look and re-imagining of this character. Don’t get me wrong I loved Roddy McDowell in the original, but the new Peter Vincent is a totally different character. This one is every bit the showman and with David Tennant’s acting, one can’t help but be mesmerized. By his acting, not just his trousers, cheeky!

So there we have it girls and who knows maybe some boys too. =) Sure it was fun to watch DT on the big screen and lord knows he is gorgeous. Not many men can truly embody rock star and tight leather well, but DT can and no one does it quite like him. However, in all seriousness that is not the main reason why most of us are his fans. We are fans not only because the man is a talented actor, but because he is an all round great human being. He is pleasant and polite always taking time to be kind to fans and children. I’ve never heard a bad thing said about him and I doubt I ever will. So I’m very pleased to see him enjoying such success. I hope Fright Night brings more DT to screens worldwide.

Prior to discovering David Tennant I never would have considered myself as much of a fan girl. Living on the other side of the pond I wasn’t blessed with seeing him cross my television. It wasn’t until I got glimpses of Doctor Who (finally airing on BBC America) that I really noticed him. Sure I’d heard of Doctor Who, but I had never really been privy to seeing full episodes. Once I did, it wasn’t hard to see that Tennant could act! I quickly looked up his work and found Hamlet. Let’s just say that after watching that performance that was it, I became a full fledged fan. You see I’ve been raised in the theater. I’ve been acting since I was a child and I’ll admit it,  I’m kind of picky especially when it comes to Shakespeare. I’m not saying I’m an expert at anything, but like everyone I have an opinion. My opinion is that he is one of the greatest actors alive. His roles are always interesting and dynamic. I have the utmost respect for his work and skill. Personally he inspires me in my own work reminding me to always take chances and make dynamic choices. I think his charitable work serves as a reminder to us all to be kind and take care of each other. We get so wrapped up in unimportant things that it’s nice to be reminded of what really matters. If one man can do all that, then imagine what we can all do ourselves? I’ve met some really great people as a result of being a DT fan girl so if this is the result of fandom count me in. This review is for you all. =)

Now then, if you’ve made it this far, well done! I hope you’ve enjoyed my unorthodox fan girl review. Everything was meant to be in good fun. Yes, it’s always important to discuss good looking leather clad Scotsman, but I hope in the end you understand that good looks aren’t enough to sway legions of fans year after year, certainly not me. No, what makes DT so attractive is his beautiful heart and lovely soul. However, leather trousers never hurt anyone. Just saying... If you look up the definition to sexy in the dictionary you will find his picture. It’s true, it’s a fact. Go on than take a look. Come on. You know you want to. =P

-Tiffany McQuay

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Fright Night

When it comes to remakes you never quite know what you’re going to get in the end. This is especially true when the movie being remade is 80’s horror cult classic Fright Night.  How do you re-imagine a film already known for campy goodness for the audience of today? Simple! Give us a believable setting and top-notch actors. Throw in a fun story line, 3D effects and you might just have something.
Last night I was fortunate enough to attend a pre-screening of the new Fright Night starring Anton Yelchin, Colin Ferrell, David Tennant and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the film.  I’m of course familiar with the original starring Chris Sarandon as Jerry the Vampire and Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, Vampire Hunter. I have seen it several times through the years and still enjoy its campy goodness. However, this new version has a much bigger bite and the cast is… well let’s just say this isn’t your 80’s Fright Night.
This new Fright Night is set on the outskirts of the Las Vegas desert, outside and away from the glitz and lights of the well known Strip. Here we see a community full of empty homes just begging for a vampire to take up residence. It’s really a great concept when you think about it. Las Vegas is a 24hr city. People work all hours and unfortunately it’s the type of place where you can believe someone could just disappear inexplicably.  The main character of Charlie Brewster, played by Anton Chelchin (Star Trek - 2009; Charlie Bartlett - 2007) is just your average teen trying to make it through the day to day of high school. His single mother, played by Toni Collette (United States of Tara - 2009; Little Miss Sunshine – 2006), a local realtor has just sold the house next door to a very attractive looking Jerry, Colin Farrell (In Bruges - 2008; Miami Vice - 2006).  The only problem is that Jerry is a vampire and not the sparkly, friendly kind.
Other than the fact that Charlie’s mom is drooling over Jerry’s biceps, he doesn’t give this new resident much thought. That is until his former geeky BFF; Ed, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass – 2010; Superbad - 2007) points out that people are disappearing and, oh yeah, Jerry? He’s a vampire. Charlie doesn’t want to believe, but it’s not too long before Ed himself is nowhere to be found and Charlie quickly has his own proof.  
The only one who Charlie can turn to for guidance is Las Vegas illusionist and reported vampire expert Peter Vincent, played by the delicious Scottish actor David Tennant. Tennant is probably best known as the former 10th Doctor in the very popular sci-fi program Doctor Who. Now I have to make a small disclaimer. I’m a huge David Tennant fan. I think he is brilliant! He is the main reason I wanted to see Fright Night. I’ve never been disappointed by his characters, which is why I always look forward to his work. He’s also very easy on the eyes. So forgive me for proceeding to enlighten those who may not be as familiar with his body of work. Unfortunately, in the States unless you are a “Whovian” or an avid fan of British film and television most Americans only know Tennant for playing Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005). This is a travesty since Tennant is a very accomplished award winning stage and film actor. He was the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet in 2009 causing the entire run to sell out within hours. If you weren’t lucky enough to see it, check out the DVD available online. He is considered to be the most popular Doctor Who ever, which is saying something for a TV show of almost 50 yrs and I doubt you would find a child alive in the UK who didn’t recognize him as The Doctor. He’s practically a national treasure. It’s that talent and magnetism that makes his portrayal as Peter Vincent a stand out performance.
In this updated version Vincent is a British, Chriss Angel/Russell Brand-esque illusionist and self proclaimed vampire expert.  He drinks too much, swears, wears black eyeliner, has a penchant for late night internet shopping and wears extremely tight leather pants. Knowing my audience as I do, I just want to say DT fans will not be disappointed and yes  you do get shirtless Tennant, a lot of shirtless Tennant I can promise you that. No one rocks “rock star” quite like Tennant. No one!  Seriously though, Tennant is fantastic and plays Vincent with great skill making what could be a very campy role into one of unpredictable fun. I’ve never yet been disappointed with Tennant’s work. His comic timing is spot on when needed and he gives great depth to what can easily be a two dimensional character. He effectively becomes the much needed mentor to Yelton’s Charlie. I was glued to the screen not quite knowing what he would do next.
Most enjoyable for me were the scenes between Yelchin, Farrell and Tennant. All three actors were a joy to watch on screen. Colin Ferrall was quite threatening and foreboding as Jerry, but to be fair I expected that. His vampire is mean and vindictive without a doubt. The vampires in Fright Night aren’t easily disposed of which makes them quite intimidating so there are some very exciting chase and escape scenes. I’d have to say the one character that I didn’t care for as much as I’d hoped for was Ed. He’s not the most likeable character at times and while he does provide some comic moments he seemed more a whiny teen that I didn’t miss when gone. 
For those concerned about the horror aspect, know that there is definitely some blood and gore going on in the film, but not too much. I think the majority of movie goers, even those who are squeamish will be able to handle it.
In the end the true hero is Charlie. The plot stays very close to the original changing a few things here and there, but I don’t think fans will be disappointed. The pacing in the beginning of the film seemed a little slow, but it eventually speeds up. The 3D effects while not finished (this was just a screening) were interesting in parts, but honestly I don’t think they were needed. Perhaps the final cut will justify the need for 3D, but I feel seeing this in 2D would be just as enjoyable. There are some fun action sequences and I really loved what they did with Jerry’s house. (No I’m not going to tell you).  The ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but as I said before this is a screening and a lot can change between now and August 19th, the reported release date per IMDB.
All in all I had a lot of fun viewing this film. The audience at the screening all seemed to love it. Everyone cheered and applauded at the end and there were smiles aplenty. No one seemed dissatisfied and I know I sure wasn’t disappointed. I recommend this to movie goers and fans alike. This was a fun movie! One more thing DT fans, just go. Leather trousers are NOT to be missed! =)
-Tiffany McQuay